A Book Review and Summer Reading GIVEAWAY

I am halfway through Giddy Up, Eunice: Because Women Need Each Other, and before I even finished it I felt like I NEED to tell women about this book.

It has been food for my soul. I didn’t even make it through the intro without crying and laughing out loud. Although the crying could be from pregnancy hormones. #fourweekstogo

I have followed the author, Sophie Hudson, online for years and have heard her speak in person.

She is a high school counselor, humorous/inspirational writer who also records a hilarious podcast

And what I love about her is she is so good at making me laugh and challenging me in the same paragraph.

Anyone who can speak on reality TV binges and what we can learn from the relationship between Mary and Elizabeth on the same book page is my kind of person. :)

If you are a woman: married, single, divorced or widowed; you need to read this book because women do need each other. 

And Sophie shares this truth in her endearing Mississippi writing voice like no other can. 

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And because I also think all women need big earrings:

Shelly Dolen created a new line of big metallic earrings that look like metal, but are actually are made of leather (and weigh basically nothing)! I love BIG earrings, but the heavy ones give me headaches. There are tons of styles, and I want them ALL. :)

And to top it off for every pair of earrings that Shelly sells she donates a pair to the charity Dress for Success working wardrobe. It’s basically a win win earring situation.


So two readers will receive a copy of Giddy Up, Eunice: Because Women Need Each Other and a pair of earrings from Shelly Dolen’s website (style of your choice).

Comment below with your favorite thing about summer.

Mine is all the fresh summer produce! #givemeallthesalads

Share on facebook or twitter for an additional entry. And then leave a comment below that you did.

Two winners will be randomly selected by random.org and will be announced on Friday, June 17th.

Eunice earrings

*I received a free copy of this book to review. All giveaways are paid for by me.

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Meal Delivery Services: Are they worth it?

So a few weeks back I signed up for Hello Fresh, Plated, and Blue Apron.

Over kill much?

Well yes, but I wanted to really do my research on the best meal delivery service.

I rated them on a couple things.

Recipes.

Ingredients.

Organization.

Price.

If you are not sure what these companies offer I will give a quick synopses.

Basically, you sign-up for the service, pick the recipes you like that week(3 max), the frequency of ingredients delivery, pick your food preferences (vegetarian, gluten free, no seafood etc) and the day you prefer it to be delivered.

The ingredients and recipes come packed in a box with lots of freezer packs to keep everything super cold.

You unpack the box and cook the meals at your convenience. The only ingredients you are expected to have on hand are salt/pepper, butter and oil.

And you can cancel your subscription at any time. No extra fees etc.

Hello Fresh

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Plated

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Blue Apron

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And here is how they rated in my opinion.

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 So are they worth it?

I say yes, but with a few disclaimers.

If you are feeding yourself and one other person, this is for you! I throw out so much food that my husband and I never get around to eating. I love that they give me exactly the amount I need and no more.

If you would like to learn new cooking techniques or new recipes, this is for you.

If you would like to learn to cook lighter dishes, this is for you.

If you are single and don’t mind eating leftovers, this is for you. Or use it as an excuse to host someone for dinner!

If some weeks the thought of meal planning, grocery shopping and THEN cooking makes you want to cry, this is for you.

If you are feeding a bunch of hungry teenagers, this is not for you. The ratio of portion size to price is not worth it.

If you are a bargain or coupon grocery shopper, this is not for you.

If you are not much of a foodie, this is probably not for you.


So which service did I pick?

I really like Hello Fresh. It was also the first one I tried.

While some of the recipes are not my favorite it does get me in the kitchen rather than in a drive-thru line for dinner.

And for healthy convenience food it’s totally worth it.

I won’t do it every week because there are certain recipes that my family really enjoys that I still want to make, but as a filler for weeks when the thought of thinking through a grocery list makes me want to pluck my eyes out this meal delivery service is perfect!

If you want to try it out use my discount code 6QLT9N for $40 off  your first box from Hello Fresh.

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My sister gets photo credit for these hello fresh meals she prepared. :)

Our Trip to Bozeman

Joe and I had a great time last week in Bozeman, Montana.

I knew this trip was going to be great when we got off the plane, walked to the car rental counter and got a full-size SUV comped b/c they ran out of the cheap cars. :)

And it just got better.

We had no schedule; so we slept in, took naps, did some sightseeing, fishing, and had lots of great food.

Bozeman is very similar to Asheville, NC.

They have done a great job at maintaining the small town feel while still growing leaps and bounds in the last few years.

The loft apartment we rented ended up being great!

We were within walking distance of lots of great restaurants and shopping.

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To see the rental listing click here. 

We were within walking distance of lots of great restaurants and shopping.

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We did go to the hot springs in Norris. It was quite the experience. Definitely out of our comfort zone, but so fun.

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Grizzly Lake, Yellowstone Park

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We ate a lot of bison burgers. They were delish!

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Snow on the peaks in Belgrade.

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Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone Park

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Fishing in Yellowstone

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We took a tour of a fancy-smancy fly fishing rod manufacturing shop in Twin Bridges.

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Sitting in Yellowstone just enjoying the view.

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The last day we did a lot of driving around and just enjoying the country-side.

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But now it’s Monday, we are home and back to reality.

Have a great week!

Snack Time!- plus a free box of snacks

I am not usually a snacky person.

I like meals, not snacks.

But my husband is a snacky person,

which always creates a predicament for me.

What kind of snacks to buy?

Pop-tarts, chips, fruit snacks?

None of it is healthy and I usually feel somewhat guilty buying it.

I do like some of the Trader Joe’s options, but I don’t shop there on a regular basis.

Then Nature Box entered the scene and solved my snack buying problems.

I choose the snacks that would please the snack loving members of our family.

And then Nature Box shipped them to my door.

It’s as easy at that.

You can even include any food allergies in your online profile.

And if you don’t like one of the snacks you receive, they send you a free snack in your next box.

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It’s super easy to use, and I really love the service.

Your first box is completely free of charge. It’s totally worth trying out.

Click here for the link to get started.

Summer Hair and Summer Dresses

Summertime means little make-up and no hairdryers to me.

Also sundresses.

Two things I have discovered this summer to help with the overachiever goals above?

No-Heat Headband Curls and Skimmies.

I have done the headband curls 4xs already this summer, and they are perfection.

I just wash my hair before bed, comb it out, let is air dry for about 20 minutes and then I follow the tutorial below.

When you first take out the curls in the morning, they look a little crazy. But DON’T touch them. Let them relax on their own.

When I do my hair this way my get-ready time in the morning is 15 min. I don’t care who you are. That’s impressive.

I found the headband I needed at the Dollar Tree, but you can find them at any drug store or Target.

click the photo below for the full tutorial with tips.

Okay, on to the summer dresses.

This is sorta a sensitive subject. Or at least one that most people don’t talk about.

Sweating (perspiring, glistening whatever your preferred term is) while wearing a summer dress is not pretty.

At least not when you have to sit down and stand up.

I am just going to say it. Butt sweat is the worst.

Drum roll: There is a solution.

↓↓↓

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Jockey Skimmies Slip Short

click the photo for the shopping link

These are not Spanx-like at all. They are just a super thin silky short that feel like a dream to wear.

I instantly felt cooler and like everything under my dress was in place. TMI?

I think they would be perfect under thin white pants when you need a little extra coverage too.

Target also sells a version for $12. As far as I can tell they are exactly the same.

The packaging looks like this.↓

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click the photo for the shopping link

Do yourself a favor and go buy a pair or two!

You will love them!

This post contains affiliate links to help pay for the costs associated with this blog. 

A Food Storage Solution That Won’t Make You Lose Your Mind (or your paycheck)

Do you know what drives me nuts?

Garden hoses.

They get tangled and kinked.

And it causes me to want to be the kind of person who cusses(only slightly kidding).

Well the other thing that drives me nuts is plastic food storage containers with all the mismatched lids.

It is enough to drive a woman mad.

Seriously.

Anyway, recently I discovered the cheap solution- freezer safe, top shelf dishwasher safe, microwave safe, and BPA free.

And the BEST PART is that they all use the same size lids. Hallelujah!


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 The bonus is that when I take meals to new moms etc I don’t feel bad sending these containers because they are so cheap, and I can even write the instructions for serving on the lid- using a sharpie and masking tape.

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I recently made a huge batch of chicken stock using the 8oz containers.

The price and availability make them perfect to use in kids’ lunch boxes too.

Click each photo for the specific links on Amazon.

This is the size I use for chicken stock, wine for cooking and condiments.

The cost breakdown on this size is 35¢ each which is even cheaper than the dollar store brands.

16 oz- individual salads and pastas as well as leftovers
32 oz- this is the perfect size for big batches of salsa, soups and chilis

They also offer this super large 1/2 gal size, but it has a different sized lid to I opted out.

This post contains affiliate links to help pay for the costs associated with this blog.

Retail Therapy: Spring Basics 2015

 I hope spring has sprung in your neck of the woods.

Spring sprang at our house and then we had our yard graded last week.

So now we have a yard of red mud with some new grass seed thrown on top.

Real life, folks. Just real life.

Anyway I have been doing some closet purging and refreshing for the new season.

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Dansko Women’s Tasha Sandal

 I needed a casual sandal with a little heel because of some sciatica I am still dealing with

And because my favorite pair of neutral brown wedges got eaten by a dog we were sitting on.  :(

I purchased these last week and I have not taken them off since. They are the most comfortable sandals I have ever owned.

I keep telling my husband I feel like I am walking on clouds. It took about 24 hours to break them in but no blisters and my feet have never been happier.

A bit pricey, but Danskos last forever. The last pair I owned for 5+ years and they still look new.

I did have to size up because my foot tends to be a little wide.

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Women‘s Draped One Piece Black Stripe

 We are headed to the beach in early May and I also needed a new suit. Or as we called it when I was growing up, “bating suit.”

Somewhere along the way we dropped the “h” and no one ever corrected us.

This is basically the greatest swimsuit ever made (slight exaggeration, but only slight). Lots of support for the chest and tummy areas but still super cute and reasonably priced.

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Some cute little spring studs for $8. Just that simple.

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I purchased one of these tunics from Old Navy a few weeks ago. The shirt is super light weight but well made.

It comes in lots of fun colors.

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These pants are a newer version of my favorite linen pants that I gave away to two readers this month.

I just bought these because I love stripes and I love linen. So basically it’s a match made in heaven.

And last but not least I am hoping to snatch of few pieces of the Lily Pulitzer line for Target in April.

This post contains affiliate links. 

Retail Therapy: It’s All About the Pants and a GIVEAWAY (Winners Announced)

Winners randomly selected by random.org:

Landerlm and Jamie.

Ladies, I will email you this week for your selection, color, size and address.

Thanks for reading! 

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.


I have found some great pants recently that I just had to share.

First of all it you are taller and/or thinner these probably won’t be the best finds ever because I am going to assume that finding pants that fit is not as uncommon than finding a four leaf clover. (√got in my St. Patrick’s Day reference)

But I have a really hard time finding pants that fit and don’t make me feel like a sausage in a casing that is too tight.

Great mental picture right?

I own at least 2 pairs of each of these pants.

I know I have blogged about the leggings before but you all: THEY ARE THE BEST. I have them in every color.

Old Navy just stocked their linen blend pants for the spring. You need these pants. They even come in petite. They fit every shape and size plus as long as you pull them out of the dryer quickly you don’t even have to iron them. They are perfect office-y pants if you have to wear office-y clothes during the (HUMID) southern summer months. Bless our (sweating) hearts.

The workout capri pants were a desparate purchase because I was so tired of washing my workout pants multiple times a week.

But thankfully I actually love them and purchase 2 more. They are light weight but not see through which I love.

Pants

1, 2, 3

Now to the fun part: THE GIVEAWAY.

Giveaway

Two winners will receive a pair of the above pants, your size and choice of color.

Giveaway is over.

To enter: just leave a comment below with your favorite season.

For three additional entries share on facebook, instagram or twitter and then leave a comment below that you did.

A winner will be picked on Tuesday, March 3rd PM via random.org.

International entries welcome.

Happy (almost) Spring!

Retail Therapy: It’s All About the Pants and a GIVEAWAY

Winners are:

Landerlm and Jamie. Ladies I will email you this week for your selection, color, size and address.

Thanks for reading! 


I have found some great pants recently that I just had to share.

First of all it you are taller and/or thinner these probably won’t be the best finds ever because I am going to assume that finding pants that fit is not as uncommon than finding a four leaf clover. (√got in my St. Patrick’s Day reference)

But I have a really hard time finding pants that fit and don’t make me feel like a sausage in a casing that is too tight.

Great mental picture right?

I own at least 2 pairs of each of these pants.

I know I have blogged about the leggings before but you all: THEY ARE THE BEST. I have them in every color.

Old Navy just stocked their linen blend pants for the spring. You need these pants. They even come in petite. They fit every shape and size plus as long as you pull them out of the dryer quickly you don’t even have to iron them. They are perfect office-y pants if you have to wear office-y clothes during the (HUMID) southern summer months. Bless our (sweating) hearts.

The workout capri pants were a desparate purchase because I was so tired of washing my workout pants multiple times a week.

But thankfully I actually love them and purchase 2 more. They are light weight but not see through which I love.

Pants

1, 2, 3

Now to the fun part: THE GIVEAWAY.

Giveaway

Two winners will receive a pair of the above pants, your size and choice of color.

Giveaway is over.

To enter: just leave a comment below with your favorite season.

For three additional entries share on facebook, instagram or twitter and then leave a comment below that you did.

A winner will be picked on Tuesday, March 3rd PM via random.org.

International entries welcome.

Happy (almost) Spring!